La Mercè wine tasting

Every end of September holds an amusing party at Barcelona: La Mercè. This 5-day celebration is a festival held in honor of the Patron Saint of Barcelona: The Virgin of Grace (Mare de Déu de la Mercè).

The schedule of events for La Mercè  (September 20-24) was all day long, going from parades, to correfoc and human towers.

Among all the events I decided to go, there was one that I really loved:  A wine tasting of Catalan wine and cava at the Arc of Triumph.

As you may know wine is one of my passions so I was really willing to do this. It was all perfectly organized with 53 white tents divided by D.O. (Alella, Catalunya, Cava, Conca de Barberà, Costers del Segre, Empordà, Montsant, Penedès, Pla de Bages, Priorat, Tarragona, Terra Alta). To start this amazing tour you had to buy tickets (food/drink) and your glass.Map

I decided to try 2 red wines and one white, and then end with my favorite dessert wine ever. Here are my choices:

  1. Castell del Remei- Gotim Bru- 2010 (red)Gotim Bru
  2. Synera Blanc- 1898 Ramón Roqueta (white)
  3. Marco Abella- Mas Mallola 2008 Priorat (red)
  4. Vi de Glass – Gramona- Gewürztraminer (dessert wine) and my favorite

Vi de glass - Gramona






Apart from wine and cava there were also cheese and cold meats to taste.

Some of the best cheeses I’ve ever tried were here: Formatges Mas El Garet and Formatges Bauma. These had a medal for the World Cheese Awards. They were amazing!! A true pleasure for the palate.Cheese


After this gastronomic adventure I went back home and slept for almost 12 hours, as you may imagine. Not bad for a Tuesday right?



Cheers for Penedés!

Last summer I decided to check mark an activity I always wanted to do: visit a Spanish vineyard. Spain has always been well renown for it´s excellent wines and there are many regions around it´s territory; La Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Navarra and Jerez are some of the most well-known, but since I am in Catalonia I decided to start with Penedés.

The entire Penedés region comprehends the Upper, Central and Lower Penedés. Although this D.O. owes it´s fame to the cava production, white and red wines are also amazing! 

I visited 3 wineries: Jean León, Bodegas Torres and Freixenet. Each one of them had it´s own enchantment, flavour, smell and of course, history.

Jean León was the first visit. I have to say it was quite disconcerting for me as the tour started at 9 AM. Too early for wine tasting! Even though, the experience was amazing. The wines are kept in an underground cellar, and aged in French and American oak barrels, vineyards (divided by grape variety) surround the winery all over and the landscape is amazing. It was a short visit but very well explained. It finished with a wine tasting of Chardonnay, Merlot y Cabernet. Better impossible.

Next stop was Bodegas Torres. This was the one I was more excited about, and it was definitively my favorite. The visit consisted in a tour all over the winery on a truck (a kind of Disneyland transport). Headphones were provided to every one of us and we had an extremely well explained tour while driving around. Finally we had a wine tasting of three wines (Viña Esmeralda, Atrium, Celeste) with a marriage of cheese which was directed by an enologist.    

Finally it was Freixenet, famous for it´s cava. It consisted on a walking tour inside the winery which ended with another truck ride. You could observe many bottles had exploded as the pressure of this sparkling wine sometimes exceeds. Finally, cava tasting; Brut Rosé and Brut Nature Reserva (I got cava spilled all over me, but some people say it´s good luck though!) with ham, pantomate and Spanish tortilla. An amazing way to finish the wine route.

At the end of my tour, you can imagine my condition, I went back home and slept. Anyway I woke up remembering the great experience this was and how much worth it is to visit a vineyard while being in Spain.

Every time I taste wine I find it fascinating, the pleasures of each different scent, it´s flavor, the color and movement, are just a small part of the wine culture which has gained more interest in the past years.

I urge you to let yourself be seduced by the world of wine…